Monday, December 1, 2008


My link up with this year's IFFI (International Film Festival of India) was restricted due to personal constraints. The conventional priority is to see rare foreign films. Yet in my reduced number of films-to-view, I chose to see a local Hindi film involving my favourite actor, Naseeruddin Shah.

The film "A Wednesday" shows the plight of the aam-aadmi (common man) who finds himself cornered by the uncertainty of life threatened by terror. One such aam-aadmi turns plight into power by manipulating the media, playing puppeteer with the police and using the same method as the terrorist to counter the agents of terror.

The aam-aadmi's outburst in the end received deafening applause from an audience anguished by the terror attacks at Mumbai of 26 November 2008. Incidentally, it was a Wednesday! We found ourselves collectively thinking, 'this is precisely the way to counter terror'. And that would be ignoring the real lessons of the film.

We need to understand that while the agents of terror have to be crushed, we cannot lose focus that terrorism is facilitated by a corrupt political and administrative system. It cannot be ignored that the same Government machinery which pre-empts peaceful, democratic protests is found to be in numbed slumber while responding to all types of terror attacks on innocent citizens.

A J Muste said it so well, "We cannot have peace if we are only concerned with peace. War is not an accident. It is the logical outcome of a certain way of life. If we want to attack war, we have to attack that way of life." The war on terror has to be a battle to cleanse our Government and its systems of corruption and inefficiency. And the change, as the Mahatma put it, has to start with us!

As active citizens, let's strive to BE BETTER
And replace the systems that facilitate terror…

- Pravin-da

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